A road trip along the Chemins d’eau: From Montebello to Gatineau

Published on July 30 2020

Are you itching to go on a road trip this summer? Discover the DNA of the Outaouais along Les Chemins d’eau (“waterways”), the region’s first tourist route! Don’t worry, you don’t need a watercraft to travel this route. A car and a co-driver with good musical taste will do the trick! 😉

Plaisance Falls

Charm and authenticity in the Petite Nation

Start your journey by stocking up on local products! Although there are many places in the Petite Nation where you can sample local flavours, ChocoMotive and Les Brasseurs de Montebello are two definite musts. Take time for a snack at the Brasseurs pub, where you can choose from a selection of local craft beers.

Once you’ve quenched your thirst, head to Plaisance National Park for a gentle hike or a boating excursion. Bring your binoculars: the park is home to some 230 bird species.

Your next stop is a natural and historic site that has truly stood the test of time: Plaisance Falls! In the 1800s, these falls attracted settlers who built the now-defunct village of North Nation Mills.

Have you just about reached your quota of beautiful scenery? It’s now time to check in at the Auberge Couleurs de France, a log building nestled in the forest overlooking Lake Preston. Not only are the rooms equipped with a whirlpool tub and a fireplace, but the inn’s restaurant specializes in gourmet French cuisine.

 

Principale Street, Aylmer

All about culture in Gatineau

If you like hiking, not far from the inn is the Route des Zingues, one of the most beautiful sections of the National Trail in Quebec. Otherwise, return to Route 148 and follow it to Masson-Angers, where you must stop to discover the walking tour highlighting Masson’s role as a hub of the lumber industry.

Continue to downtown Gatineau and the Canadian Museum of History, the most visited museum in the country. Take the time to admire its incredible architecture: you won’t see any sharp angles! This is also an opportunity to learn more about Indigenous cultures and their history through an authentic Indigenous experience that brings people and cultures together.

Now it’s time to visit Les Brasseurs du Temps, the first microbrewery in the Outaouais. Besides gourmet cuisine, the pub offers a laid-back atmosphere, a magnificent terrace and tasty beers. There’s also a beer museum where you can learn about the important role beer has played in the region’s economic development!

Set your GPS for Old Aylmer, the best preserved heritage sector in Gatineau! Download the BaladoDécouverte mobile app and take a self-guided tour of historic Old Aylmer that tells the story of the many buildings and sites that have shaped the community.

Then, choose one of the charming restaurants on Principale Street to have dinner. After your meal, make a last stop at Des Cèdres Park to admire the sunset over the Ottawa River. You won’t regret it! End your stay at the British Hotel, where 19th-century heritage and modern comfort go hand in hand.

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Do you want to continue exploring and making new discoveries? Or are you already planning a second road trip along the Chemins d’eau? This route through the Collines-de-l’Outaouais and the Pontiac will delight your senses (and your stomach)! 😊

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